Dr. Alex Joffe

Dr. Alex Joffe

Dr. Alex Joffe

Alex Joffe (Ph.D. University of Arizona). Specializes in ancient and modern Middle Eastern studies, American foreign policy, and American cultural politics.

Explaining the Trump Doctrine

| December 18, 2018

The Trump administration’s transactional doctrine appears to be based on Donald Trump’s personality and experiences, not on abstract theory about the behavior of states. According to that doctrine, successful relationships can be had with countries that share views regarding mutual benefit. Trump tramples norms that his predecessor, Barack Obama, sought to reinforce for the benefit of the international system and its servants. Obama’s doctrine, like Trump’s, was an emanation of his own personality.

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Supporting Faculty on Israel: Now More than Ever

and | December 16, 2018

The on-campus boycott, divest, and sanctions movement (BDS) has benefited greatly from the normalizing of anti-Semitism in the US and around the world. The American university is now in many instances a toxic environment for both students and faculty who have an open mind about Israel. Those faculty who risk their jobs, tenure, and grant funding to speak openly on Israel’s behalf need support now more than ever.

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As the US Cuts Funding, UNRWA Employees Flee Gaza

and | October 25, 2018

It does not matter that UNRWA employees would never dream of breaking the code of silence regarding Hamas’s use of UNRWA facilities or UNRWA’s hiring of terrorists. They were forced to flee for their lives anyway for the cardinal sin of having failed to keep American money coming in.

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Palestinians, You Don’t Have to Live Like Refugees

and | October 2, 2018

President Trump is right to defund UNRWA, whose anti-Israel propaganda undermines efforts to make peace.

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The Logic of the West’s New Anti-Semitism Crisis

| September 23, 2018

The anti-Semitism crises exploding in the British Labour Party and threatening to erupt in the US Democratic Party have complex sources in both the elites and the middle class. These include the logic of socialism, which opposes Jewish difference; rejection of the nation-state, which Jews still embrace; and conventional nineteenth-century beliefs in Jewish greed and conspiracies. Post-colonial guilt has also led to multiculturalism and societal self-mortification through Muslim mass immigration, which has enormously exacerbated anti-Semitism and terrorism. The trends in Europe and Britain portend negative changes in the US for Jews and Israel.

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The Anti-Israel Effort Intensifies in Politics and On Campus

| September 11, 2018

Anti-Semitism continues to be aggressively promoted in the guise of anti-Israelism in two highly influential arenas: politics, particularly in Britain; and on campus. In the US, the BDS movement is doing all it can to ostracize Jewish students.

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Palestinian Sovereignty after Abbas

| July 13, 2018

Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas’s recent illnesses have again raised the matter of his successor. This brewing issue highlights contradictory aspects of Palestinian political culture. The leaders create chaos and then blackmail Western powers in exchange for containment of the unrest. Their next step is to internationalize the conflict by demanding unconditional support. Both tactics create dependency and fundamentally undermine Palestinian sovereignty. Trusteeship schemes for the West Bank illustrate the pattern of dysfunction. Only a concept of Palestinian sovereignty free of blackmail and internationalization would allow for a successful state, but this is thwarted by the concept of Palestinian national honor, which demands a return to an imaginary status quo ante.

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Transfer UNRWA’s Responsibilities to Whom?

| April 20, 2018

International political changes and genuine refugee crises have prompted a renewed examination of UNRWA, the internationally funded mechanism for the Palestinians. The problem of transferring UNRWA’s health, welfare, and education responsibilities to other organizations is not easily resolved. Despite obvious problems (primarily the inevitable corruption), absorbing UNRWA into the PA is the least bad alternative, as it offers a path for both capacity-building and real oversight.

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Reframing the Middle Eastern and Palestinian Refugee Crises

and | March 13, 2018

There are two Middle Eastern refugee crises currently vying for resources and attention. One is nominally focused on Syria but in fact extends from Libya to Afghanistan. The other crisis is Palestinian and has supposedly been going on since 1948. A closer look at the causes of these crises shows the former to be primarily the result of the collapsing Arab state system and the rise of militant Islam, while the latter cannot be considered a crisis at all.

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Palestinians and Internationalization: Means and Ends

| November 26, 2017

From the 1920s to the present, Palestinian elites have called for Muslim, Arab, and other forms of international support in order to situate their cause at the head of emerging trends and movements. Internationalization has also served as a means to nationalize the Palestinian masses. But in the process, Palestinians have repeatedly ceded control to outside forces and interests, from Arab, pan-Arab, and revolutionary nationalists, to today’s anti-globalization red-green alliance, which have manipulated Palestinian nationalism for their own ends. The root cause of this process is weak Palestinian national identity.

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